Douglas Elliman’s revenue surged in the first quarter and Howard Lorber believes this is only the beginning.
The brokerage’s first-quarter revenue was $272.8 million, up from $165.6 million last year, as reported by Elliman’s parent company, Vector Group.
The firm’s closed sales volume soared to $10.1 billion, up 71 percent compared to the first quarter of 2020. Elliman reported a net income of $13.9 million after losing $69 million a year ago.
Though gains were made across all of Elliman’s markets, Lorber, the firm’s executive chairman and Vector’s CEO, singled out New York City’s numbers as especially robust and said he expects further growth in the months ahead.
“Commissions from our New York City business were up 34 percent during the first quarter and this trend seems to be continuing,” he said, during Vector’s first quarter earnings call. “As the city comes back to life, that’s going to, you know, keep going.”
New York City commissions increased by $24 million, while South Florida’s commissions were up 125 percent, or $46 million, Vector’s chief financial officer J. Bryant Kirkland III said during the call. He noted that Hamptons commissions were up 62 percent, or $21.5 million, and in California and Colorado commissions were up 61 percent, or $16 million.
Lorber sounded a note of caution about the South Florida market during the call.
“For South Florida we’re probably doing on a monthly basis the same volume in New York City,” he said. “I think that has to level out at some point, but I think New York City has a lot further to go.”
Vector’s real estate segment — which includes Elliman, Lorber’s New Valley development firm and, most recently, a venture capital arm — reported $275.3 million in revenue for the quarter. That’s up from $167.4 million last year. New Valley’s net income was $12.1 million, after last year’s loss of $54.4 million.
Overall, Vector reported $543.8 million from its real estate and tobacco businesses, up from $454.5 million a year earlier. Net income grew to $90.2 million for the quarter, compared to last year’s net loss of $4.9 million.